Unless you’re a graphic designer or a typographer, you probably don’t stop to think about seemingly tiny details such as typeface on a page. Completely understandable but would you, if you knew it could make a tangible difference in the success of your business? Or how about if you knew that most often it’s the seemingly unimportant, micro decisions about things like fonts (or waiting room chairs, colors, signage, menu items, etc.) that when strung together add up to long-term business success?
Buying decisions are driven in large part by feelings:
According to experts, 90% of purchasing decisions are made at an unconscious level by a brain that’s on autopilot most of the time. Big brands know this and have been capitalizing on these facts for a long (long) time. That’s why most Gen Xers born in the United States have instant recall and sudden happy feelings when hearing the Oscar Meyer Bologna commercial jingle. It’s also why the experience of hearing it (or even the mention of it) makes us want to break out singing. Right?
Typography creates feelings:
Think about the appeal of Apple. They’re firmly rooted in a consistent font (Myriad) along with colors, use of white space, and other design elements. When you see something of theirs, or walk into an Apple store, you know where you are and what to expect. They’re also highly focused on creating feelings and work hard to ensure their products (including their typefaces) conjure up the “I’m a cool kid” feeling that most of us crave.
Typography goes unnoticed by our conscious minds:
You see a document fresh off the printer at work. It’s in Microsoft Word’s default font, Cambria. When this happens repeatedly, your brain unconsciously begins associating that typeface with “typical” work documents. The same thing happens when you’re at a fine dining establishment where fancy script fonts are associated with an expensive steak, or how bubbly balloon style typeface makes us think “retro” or “vintage.”
The impact of typography – what we need to know:
Typography impacts us in the same way movie editing and camera angles do. As an audience we don’t think about those things, we simply enjoy the show and never stop to think about how tweaking this or that changes the outcome. It’s akin to the “you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it” conundrum. But film directors understand what pleases their audience and that’s exactly what you also have to know about typefaces in order to differentiate your business.
Typography goes unnoticed until…
When everything looks (feels, smells, tastes, and sounds) the same we go “blind” to the impact and unfortunately we’re inundated with typography constantly so we walk around font-blind most of the time. To evoke a conscious experience with typeface, it has to disrupt so we take notice. This happens when unusual, uncommon, or custom fonts are used. To tap into unconscious feelings that lead to buying decisions, chosen typefaces have to be associated with good feelings rather than neutral experiences such as work documents. Being aware of these considerations will help you choose the right look for your audience.
Find the typeface that propels your business forward:
A skilled graphic designer knows how to choose typefaces that will resonate; with your audience, the message you want to convey, and the personality of your business. We’re happy to help if you need it. In the meantime, here are a few important things to consider when planning your next design project:
- Match the typeface with the way you want your customers to feel
- Ensure text is easy to read especially in long copy blocks and presentations
Mix and match font sizes to increase readability
- Try different letter and line spacing too
- If you’re pairing two typefaces on one document go with high contrast fonts
- When combining fonts with visuals to tell a story, fewer words are better
The net-net: What you say matters and how it looks is equally important!
If you already have a design and just need printing, check out our eco-friendly, 4-color print services with next day turnarounds. New customers receive a 10% discount with code: NEW10.